Manzanita Writers' Series Presents

Author Presentation
Richard Goodrich

Thursday, July 25, 2024
4 p.m.
Admission $7, pre-registration encouraged
Walk-ins welcomed

Lighter-than-Air: West Coast Aviators and the Dawn of Flight

Although the claim that the Wright brothers made America’s first powered flight is well-entrenched in history books, two months before Orville Wright lifted off the sands of Kitty Hawk a physician named August Greth flew the country’s first motorized aircrafta dirigibleover San Francisco. Greth’s audacious feat inspired imitators; soon men like Tom Baldwin, Roy Knabenshue, and Lincoln Beachey dueled for aerial supremacy in their own airships. Unlike the Wrights, who refused to offer a public demonstration of their flying machine, the California aviators barnstormed across the country, performing at fairs and expositions, thrilling millions with their daring flights.

Based upon his new book, L.A. Birdmen, historian Richard Goodrich offers an entertaining account of the contributions of these West Coast pilots and explains why, in the first decade of the twentieth century, these men rather than the Wright Brothers were America’s pilots.

Cloud & Leaf Book Store will be on hand to sell his latest book.

Richard J. Goodrich (Ph.D., University of St Andrews) is an author and historian. After twenty years as a history professor in Britain and the United States, Richard resigned his teaching post to pursue a full-time writing career. His interests range from Ancient History (the Roman Empire and early Church history) to the modern age.

He is the author of Comet Madness: How the 1910 Return of Halley’s Comet (Almost) Destroyed Civilization (Prometheus/Rowman and Littlefield, 2023) and the forthcoming L.A. Birdmen (Prometheus/Rowman and Littfield), which flies into bookstores on June 18, 2024.


Details Price Qty
show details + $7.00 USD  

  •  July 25, 2024
     4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

July 25–Richard Goodrich presents research from his new book, L.A. Birdmen: West Coast Aviators and the First Airshow in America